Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz is a German-Austrian actor and director, since 2009 mainly active in the United States.
His breakout American role came in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, where he played SS officer Hans Landa. He would later collaborate with Tarantino once again in 2012, where he played bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. For each performance, he earned an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Waltz also received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Landa.
Waltz portrayed computer genius Qohen Leth in the science fiction film The Zero Theorem, American plagiarist Walter Keane in the biographical film Big Eyes, and James Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre and No Time to Die. For his role as Walter Keane, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor. He also provided the voice of Mandrake in Epic.

Early life

Waltz was born on 4 October 1956 in Vienna, Austria, the son of Johannes Waltz, a German set designer, and Elisabeth Urbancic, an Austrian costume designer. Waltz comes from a family of theatrical heritage: his maternal grandmother was Burgtheater and silent film actress Maria Mayen, and his step-grandfather, Emmerich Reimers, and his great-grandfather, Georg Reimers, were both stage actors who also appeared in silent films. Waltz's maternal grandfather, Rudolf von Urban, was a psychiatrist and a student of Sigmund Freud.
Waltz's father died when he was seven years old, and his mother later married composer and conductor Alexander Steinbrecher. Steinbrecher was previously married to the mother of director Michael Haneke; as a result, Waltz and Haneke shared the same stepfather.
Waltz had a passion for opera as a youth, having seen his first opera at around the age of ten. As a teenager, Waltz would visit the opera twice a week. He was uninterested in theatre, and had wished to become an opera singer.
After graduating from Vienna's Theresianum, Waltz went to study acting at the renowned Max Reinhardt Seminar. At the same time, he also studied singing and opera at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, but eventually decided that his voice was not good enough for an opera career. In the late 1970s, Waltz spent some time in New York City where he trained with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. He studied script interpretation under Adler, and credits his analytical approach to her teaching.


On his return to Europe, Waltz found work as a stage actor, making his debut at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich. He also performed in Vienna, Salzburg, Cologne and Hamburg. He became a prolific television actor in the years 1980 to 2000. In 2000, he made his directorial debut, with the German television production Wenn man sich traut. Before coming to the attention of a larger audience in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, he had played Dr. Hans-Joachim Dorfmann in the British TV series The Gravy Train in 1990. The show is a story of intrigue and misdeeds set in the offices of the European Union in Brussels.
In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Waltz portrayed SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa, also known as "The Jew Hunter". Clever, courteous, multilingual—but also self-serving, cunning, implacable and murderous—the character of Landa was such that Tarantino feared he "might have written a part that was un-playable". Waltz received the Best Actor Award for the performance at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and received acclaim from critics and the public. In 2009, he began sweeping critics' awards circuits, receiving awards for Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and for Best Supporting Actor at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2010.
The following month, he won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor, and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Tarantino acknowledged the importance of Waltz to his film by stating: "I think that Landa is one of the best characters I've ever written and ever will write, and Christoph played it to a tee. It's true that if I couldn't have found someone as good as Christoph I might not have made Inglourious Basterds".
Waltz played gangster Benjamin Chudnofsky in The Green Hornet ; that same year, he starred in Water for Elephants and Roman Polanski's Carnage. He played German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, a role Tarantino wrote specifically for Waltz. During a training accident prior to filming, Waltz injured his pelvis. His role garnered him acclaim once again, with Waltz winning the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and ultimately the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Waltz has been cast as the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the film Reykjavik, based on the 1986 peace talks between the United States and USSR. In April 2013, he was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. He directed a production of the opera Der Rosenkavalier at the Vlaamse Opera, in Antwerp in late 2013, and in Ghent early 2014. In 2014, he was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. He starred as Walter Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes, which opened on 25 December 2014, and appeared as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise. In July 2019, it was reported that Waltz would reprise the role in No Time to Die.
In 2015, it was announced that Waltz would direct and star in the film Georgetown, which is based on the true crime story of the murder of Viola Drath. In July 2016, he portrayed lead villain Captain Leon Rom, a corrupt Belgian captain, in the reboot The Legend of Tarzan.
In 2017, Waltz appeared in the films Tulip Fever and Downsizing. In 2019, Waltz appeared in the action fantasy . He directed a production of the opera Falstaff, again at the Vlaamse Opera, in Antwerp in late 2017, and in Ghent in early 2018.

Personal life

Waltz has three children with his former wife, Jackie, a psychotherapist originally from New York. The two lived in London and their marriage lasted 17 years. Waltz married his second wife, German costume designer Judith Holste, with whom he has a daughter. They divide their time between Berlin and Los Angeles.
Waltz's native language is German, and he also speaks both English and French fluently. He speaks all three of these in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, and although his character in Inglourious Basterds also spoke Italian, Waltz said on the Adam Carolla Podcast that he is not fluent in Italian.
Waltz was born in Vienna to a German father who applied for him to become a citizen of Germany after his birth. He received Austrian citizenship in 2010, thus holding citizenships of both Austria and Germany, but considers his German passport a "legal, citizenship law banality" despite the fact that he had not previously been able to vote in Austria's national elections. Asked whether he felt Viennese, he responded: "I was born in Vienna, grew up in Vienna, went to school in Vienna, graduated in Vienna, studied in Vienna, started acting in Vienna – and there would be a few further Viennese links. How much more Austrian do you want it?"



1979BreakthroughParamedicEnglishAndrew V. McLaglenUncredited
1981HeadstandMarkusGermanVeith von Fürstenberg
1982Fire and SwordTristanEnglishVeith von Fürstenberg
1986WahnfriedFriedrich NietzscheGermanPeter Patzak
1988'Police ChiefEnglishNicolas Gessner
1991'Jan TytzPolishKrzysztof ZanussiCredited as Chistopher Waltz
1995The Start of SomethingHerbertGermanNikolaus Leytner
1997'Maksymilian GierymskiEnglishKrzysztof Zanussi
1998Seven MoonsKom. BeckerGermanPeter Fratzscher
1998Love Scenes from Planet EarthCharlyGermanMarc Rothemund
1999The BrideKarl AugustGermanEgon Günther
2000Ordinary Decent CriminalPeterEnglishThaddeus O'Sullivan
2000Falling RocksLouisGermanPeter Keglevic
2000Death, Deceit and Destiny Aboard the Orient ExpressOssama / TarikEnglishMark Roper
2001Queen's MessengerAli Ben SammEnglishMark Roper
2001SheEnglishTimothy Bond
2003AngstPsychoanalystGermanOskar Roehler
2003Gun-ShyJohannsenGermanDito Tsintsadze
2003Berlin BluesDoctorGermanLeander Haußmann
2004Pact with the DevilRolf SteinerEnglishAllan A. Goldstein
2006Lapislazuli: In the Eyes of the BearCzernyGermanWolfgang Murnberger
2009Inglourious BasterdsCol. Hans LandaEnglishQuentin TarantinoAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor
2011The Green HornetBenjamin Chudnofsky / BloodnofskyEnglishMichel Gondry
2011Water for ElephantsAugust RosenbluthEnglishFrancis Lawrence
2011The Three MusketeersCardinal RichelieuEnglishPaul W. S. Anderson
2011CarnageAlan CowanEnglishRoman Polanski
2012Django UnchainedDr. King SchultzEnglishQuentin TarantinoAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor
2013EpicMandrakeEnglishChris WedgeVoice
2013The Zero TheoremQohen LethEnglishTerry GilliamAlso co-producer
2014Muppets Most WantedHimselfEnglishJames BobinCameo
2014Horrible Bosses 2Burt HansonEnglishSean Anders
2014Big EyesWalter KeaneEnglishTim Burton
2015SpectreErnst Stavro BlofeldEnglishSam Mendes
2016The Legend of TarzanLéon RomEnglishDavid Yates
2017Tulip FeverCornelis SandvoortEnglishJustin Chadwick
2017DownsizingDusan MirkovicEnglishAlexander Payne
2019'Dr. Dyson IdoEnglishRobert Rodriguez
2019GeorgetownUlrich MottEnglishHimself
2019HimselfEnglishTara WoodDocumentary film
2020The French DispatchBoris SchommersEnglishWes AndersonPost-production
2020No Time to DieErnst Stavro BlofeldEnglishCary Joji FukunagaPost-production
2021PinocchioThe Fox and the CatEnglishGuillermo del Toro
Mark Gustafson
Post-production; Voice
Rifkin's FestivalTBAEnglishWoody AllenPost-production


1977Am dam desGerman
1977Der EinstandGunther VesleyGermanTelevision film
1979Feuer!Karl Albrecht SchlickGermanTelevision film
1979Parole ChicagoEduard "Ede" BredoGerman13 episodes
1982The Mysterious StrangerErnst WassermanEnglishTelevision film
1982Dr. Margarete JohnsohnRainerGermanTelevision film
1983Der SandmannNathanaelGermanTelevision film
1985Ein Fall für zweiAlfGermanEpisode: "Blutsbande"
1986The Old FoxHans BaumeisterGermanEpisode: "Zwei Leben"
1986DerrickEberhard BotheGermanEpisode: "Schonzeit für Mörder"
1986Lenz oder die FreiheitFranz SigelGermanTelevision miniseries
1987TatortInspektor PassiniGermanEpisode: "Wunschlos tot"
1987Das andere LebenStefanGermanTelevision film
1988'Stefan MuellerEnglishTelevision series
1988DerrickSchumannGermanEpisode: "Mord inklusive"
1989GoldeneyeGerman spyEnglishTelevision film
1990The Gravy TrainDr. Hans-Joachim DorfmannEnglish4 episodes
1990The Old FoxChristian KampGermanEpisode: "So gut wie tot"
1991The Gravy Train Goes EastDr. Hans-Joachim DorfmannEnglish4 episodes
19925 Zimmer, Küche, BadHartwig KlemmnitzGermanTelevision film
1992Die Angst wird bleibenManfredGermanTelevision film
1993' John of LeidenGermanTelevision film
1994Tag der Abrechnung – Der Amokläufer von EuskirchenErwin MikolajczykGermanTelevision film
1994JacobMorashEnglishTelevision film
1994Die StaatsanwältinAndreas DoepkeGermanTelevision film
1995The All New Alexei Sayle ShowWeak MoustacheEnglishEpisode #2.3
1995Prinz zu entsorgenRomanGermanTelevision film
1995'ChristophGermanTelevision film
1995Catherine the GreatMirovichEnglishTelevision film
1996Der TouristStephan GörnerGermanTelevision film
1996Du bist nicht allein – Die Roy Black StoryRoy BlackGermanTelevision film
1996Rosa RothWietzeGermanEpisode: "Nirgendwohin"
1996'Martin WolfGermanEpisode: "Der Puppenmörder"
1997'Walter MuellerFrench2 episodes
1997'Gerhardt Schulze-LeitnerGermanEpisode: "Villa Palermo"
1997SchimanskiKlaus MandelGermanEpisode:
1998Vickys AlptraumJohnnyGermanTelevision film
1998Schock – Eine Frau in AngstKommissar KaulGermanTelevision film
1998'KantGermanTelevision film
1998Rache für mein totes KindPaulGermanTelevision film
1998Mörderisches Erbe – Tausch mit einer TotenMoritz FinkGermanTelevision film
1999Dessine-moi un jouetKlaus HermannFrenchTelevision film
2000The Beast Herbert FinkGermanTelevision film
2001Engel sucht FlügelCaspariGermanTelevision film
2001Riekes LiebePair skating coach KarlhoffGermanTelevision film
2001Der Tanz mit dem TeufelDieter CilovGermanTelevision film
2002Dienstreise – Was für eine NachtKlaus-Dieter LehmannGermanTelevision film
2002Weihnachtsmann gesuchtJohannes BöhmkeGermanTelevision film
2003Jagd auf den FlammenmannBriskyGermanTelevision film
2003Der Mörder ist unter uns Martin BachGermanTelevision film
2003Zwei Tage HoffnungMichael BergGermanTelevision film
2003JennerweinPföderlGermanTelevision film
2003Tigeraugen sehen besserDr. Thilo RylowGermanTelevision film
2004Scheidungsopfer MannBenedikt von ArnGermanTelevision film
2004Mörderische SucheRichard BenedekGermanTelevision film
2004Schöne Witwen küssen besserJean-FranceGermanTelevision film
2005Die PatriarchinWolf SeveningGerman3 episodes
2005Der Elefant: Mord verjährt nieRichard SeemannGermanEpisode: "Verlorene Jahre"
2006SOKO Rhein-MainAndreas SennerGermanEpisode: "Schuld und Sühne"
2006Polizeiruf 110Dr. Juris GrínsGermanEpisode: "Die Lettin und ihr Lover"
2006StolbergPaul BüttnerGermanEpisode: "Kreuzbube"
2006TatortProf. Robert HenzeGermanEpisode: "Schlaflos in Weimar"
2006Franziskas Gespür für MännerKarl LöwenGermanTelevision film
2007Der StaatsanwaltDr. Claudius TressenGermanEpisode: "Glückskinder"
2007Der letzte ZeugeDr. Martin YorkGermanEpisode: "Martinspassion"
2007Unter VerdachtThomas SellGermanEpisode: "Hase and Igel"
2007'Frank "Büffel" ArbogastGermanTelevision film
2007Die VerzauberungDr. Helmut BahrGermanTelevision film
2008Das Geheimnis im WaldHans KortmannGermanTelevision film
2008TodsündeSebastian FliesGermanTelevision film
2008Das jüngste GerichtPetersGermanTelevision film
2008Die AnwälteHerbert JahnGermanEpisode: "Leben und Tod"
2008TatortGerd WeißenbachGermanEpisode: "Liebeswirren"
2013Saturday Night LiveHostEnglishEpisode: "Christoph Waltz/Alabama Shakes"
2017Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeGuestEnglishEpisode: "Champagne, Cigars and Pancake Batter"
2020Most Dangerous GameMilesEnglish

As director

2000Wenn man sich traut
2019GeorgetownUlrich Mott